Midlands firms go head to head over Birmingham site

A clutch of Midlands law firms are fighting over the same property in Birmingham.

1 Colmore Square will be completed in early 2004 and work will start to pedestrianise the area this October.
The 193,000sq ft property will be rented out at £27.50 per square foot per year. It is understood that Pinsent Curtis Biddle, Martineau Johnson, Wragge & Co and Hammond Suddards Edge have all expressed an interest in the property and two have put in bids.
Jeff Thomas of property advisors DTZ is acting as agent for the developers. He said: “The Birmingham market is very active. Generally, among the business service professional in the Midlands, law firms have grown the most in the past five years or so. None of the firms would fill the building at the moment, but it would give them room to grow.”
A Pinsents spokesman said: “A report has been commissioned to consider the range of options open to the firm, including staying in our current building. 1 Colmore Square is no more than one of a number of options open to the firm.”
A spokesman for Hammonds denied that the firm was even intending to move. “We have no plans to move at present, or in the foreseeable future,” he said.
However, one source close to the Midlands property market said: “Hammonds is known to be in the market, but firms are often sensitive to this being public knowledge. It can be a bit disruptive for staff.”
Martineaus senior partner David Gwyther said: “We do need to look at future accommodation because there's a break clause in one of our buildings for February 2004. 1 Colmore Square is an option. We haven't formulated a response for what might happen if other firms are after the same building, whether they're legal or not.”